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Old 01-23-2008, 10:09 AM   #1
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My son is replacing a light fixture. When he pulled it away from the wall, he found that the two black wires from the lamp were connected by a pigtail to the black wire in the box. Ditto for the neutral.
Is there any reason for him not to connect the two black wires from the new lamp directly to the black wire in the box, eliminating the pigtail? Ditto for the neutral. He said that the additional length that the pigtails provide is not necessary.
Having the pigtails in there seemed like just one more place where something could go wrong.

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Old 01-23-2008, 11:18 AM   #2
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Code requires 6 inches of conductors to come out of the box. Maybe that was the reason for the pigtail. If you have the room, and enough wire, you can remove the pigtail and wire the light like you asked.

Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:32 AM   #3
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thanks jbfan,

just out of curiosity, why 6 inches - why wouldn't 4 or 5 inches do just as well??
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:40 PM   #4
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The six inches is measured from the point the conductor leaves the cable sheath for outlets, junctions and switch points. However if the opening to the box is less than 8 inches in any dimension you are only required to have 3 inches of conductor extending outside the box. This would pretty much be all fixture boxes in a home. If you had to have 6 inches of free conductor at a pancake box that would be a real trick to get all that folded in that small of a volume.

Last edited by Stubbie; 01-23-2008 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:38 PM   #5
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Is the pigtail by any chance connected to aluminum wire???
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Randell Tarin View Post
Is the pigtail by any chance connected to aluminum wire???

This will show up with older house build before early 70's but later one they ran just straght copper wires for branch circuits but there are few spots that allowed to use the Alum wire is #8 or larger like dryer , range , oven appalince connection [ some local code may not allow this at all ]

and with alum branch circuits wire they are pretty tricky to do the proper termation there is not very many approved methold to splice them.

If the OP do have Alum wire there i am sure he will holler to us then we can help him what is the correct producre to do this in safe manner.

Merci, Marc

P.S. some wire will look like alum but if you cut one end and see copperish colour then it is copper clad AKA copper tinned wire due the older style of rubber insluation materal have poor reaction to each other and if the end of wire look all sliver then you got straght alum wire.

Last edited by frenchelectrican; 01-23-2008 at 05:59 PM. Reason: add quick tibbit with the wire
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